News : Women

Maryam Rajavi on the Role of Women in the MEK: Part 2

Maryam Rajavi

Earlier this year, at the Free Iran conference in Ashraf 3. Albania, Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, gave an impassioned speech about the role of women in creating a free Iran.

During the fight for a Free Iran, which the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) have been fighting for since the 1960s, young women and girls became increasingly informed about the anti-fundamentalist struggle against the revolutionary guards and torturers and took their place in the fight for freedom and equality.

Maryam Rajavi said: “Among them were heroines like Homeira Eshraq, Zahra and Kobra Ebrahimian and Sorayya Abolfathi. Their names are etched in the history of women’s struggle forever. Their first encounters with politics and democratic struggle happened when they first got to know Massoud Rajavi and believed in his cause, which was freedom. Every one of them became a pioneer on this path. Today, young women are joining the resistance units and continuing their path.”

She noted that this meant the female members of the MEK’s Central Council have:

  • conquered prisons
  • served on battlefields
  • fought the twin ideologies of gender discrimination and negative individuality

Maryam Rajavi said: “These women have shouldered a heavy responsibility. They have chosen to hold firm to their commitment in every defeat or victory, and in all the trials and tribulations. The imperative that motivates these women to accept responsibility and lead the movement is the liberation of Iranian society. This is our responsibility. We must respond to the most serious sufferings and challenges in our communities.”

She highlighted that the issues affecting Iran, like poverty, discrimination,  and environmental disasters, require that participation of all Iranians in order to solve.

Maryam Rajavi said: “I must emphasize that equality and emancipation of women would be realistic only when accompanied with the emancipation of men. This is the achievement of our movement, namely human growth and advancement of pioneering men who have rebelled against gender discrimination and patriarchy to build truly equal relationships. And on this path, they have emancipated themselves.”

She explained that the Iranian Resistance profoundly rejected exploitation at all costs, which was important because otherwise women could not have held such positions within it for long. In fact, the advancement of women in the resistance movement is the result of a major fight against reactionary and oppressive thinking.

Maryam Rajavi said: “It is generally opined that women are second-class citizens and incapable of doing many things. This mindset is as old as the history of mankind. But the women of this resistance have defied this mindset and are continuing to resist against it. The more these women shed negative individualism and improve upon their interactions, they become more efficient and capable in shouldering more responsibilities and paving the way for their advancement.”

She advised that in order for this to happen, the women must move away from living in seclusion and enter social life, which that requires constant struggle.

Maryam Rajavi said: “Women can and must lead and have a pioneering role along this path. This is why the women of Iran are capable of overthrowing the religious dictatorship today and will herald peace and construction in the future.” 

 

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